How borderline personality disorder might affect custody cases

Divorce is difficult and can cause a lot of negative emotions to rise to the surface. When one or more persons have a mental health disorder, things can become explosive. Ideally, if this is the case, all affected persons remain in counseling and take any prescribed medications, but people might not even know they have BPD. 

Unfortunately, the proceedings of the divorce might cause issues like borderline personality disorder to grow worse. People suffering from BPD often become unpredictable throughout proceedings or fail to keep their promises even when they come to an earlier agreement. 

How someone with BPD might react

According to Psychology Today, when someone suffers from BPD, how they rationalize some of the actions they take might completely confuse others. Some potential problems that might arise include false and outlandish accusations and a higher likelihood of ongoing conflict. The person might aim to destroy not just the parental relationship but the spouse’s livelihood and reputation to gain full custody. 

What to know about the symptoms

BPD symptoms often become problematic in relationships. When they remain undiagnosed and untreated, they might cause the divorce. Only a licensed psychologist can diagnose someone with BPD, but here are some symptoms identified by Mayo Clinic: 

  • Threats of self-harm, which might include threats to commit suicide 
  • Rapid changes in goals, self-image and self-identity without explanation 
  • Mood swings that might last from several hours to several days 
  • Risky, impulsive and attention-seeking behavior 
  • Intense fear of separation or abandonment 

In spite of these possibilities, try to remain positive when entering divorce proceedings. The presence of BPD in divorce proceedings does not necessarily mean things will take a turn for the worst. However, noting the possibility and preparing ahead in non-confrontational ways might prove useful. 

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